Justice Norman S. Fletcher says his anti-death penalty stance is something that evolved over the 10 years following his 2005 retirement from the Georgia Supreme Court.
He says he struggled some with it in the mid-1990s, but after his retirement, he became sure. In early 2015, Justice Fletcher worked to write an opinion piece making an appeal to stay Kelly Gissendaner’s execution and announced his position against the death penalty that spring. His faith has played a key role in his belief that the death penalty is “morally indefensible.”
For there to be a sweeping national change through a US Supreme Court decision, it will be the right case at the right time — much like Brown v. the Board of Education was for desegregation, a process that took 30 years, Fletcher says. As he and other advocates keep pushing for change, he remains hopeful.
“I really think we are very close to that point, and I pray that it will be reached in my lifetime.”